Lýdia Ferová

* 1938

  • “When my uncle was taking me there, my mum walked down the stairs to meet us; I don’t know how she knew – there were no phones, maybe she had been sitting at the window waiting. I know I was scared of her. I hadn’t seen her in two years. She had only 38 kilos, her hair was trimmed like that… it’s chic these days, but imagine back then… I feared her. And I never... how should I put it into words... see, my sister who was born nine years [later] would always kiss mum when leaving for school. I never did that. It just stuck with me from childhood, and that was that… And maybe it carried over to my own children as well – I have always been somewhat… insipid.”

  • "After the war, when my parents returned there, to Nitra, my uncle went to look in the apartment. Of course, everything was stolen. He just tripped on the ground for his mother's photo album. That's why I have some photos. I moved them from that album. Because when I registered with the Jewish community in Brno, the rabbi asked me why my papers had all the dates 1947-48. I asked him if he was born now. He was a young boy, so ... " 0:02:30 - 0:03:20 From the period before the war, Lydia was left with only an old album, which miraculously survived in their old apartment in Nitra

  • "In those Nováky that first year was such a sharp regime. Then the camp commander changed there, and he was probably a bit more human, and he allowed the children to leave the camp when twhen someone could take them. My mother's brother simply had such a job that he was one of the people of the state, simply necessary for the state, so he had an exception. He was married, his wife, I think, never worked, they had no children and I was with them. And when I had to return after that month, my uncle had a medical certificate that I had whooping cough - donkey cough was called that at the time. (Where did they live?) In Banská Bystrica on Kuzmányho Street. And he sent a confirmation that I had the donkey cough to prolong the stay. When it was over, he sent another ... And that's how it went on all year. So that second year I was with my uncle in Banská Bystrica. " 0:05:25 – 0:06:53 The uncle got Lydia from Nováky and lived with him in Banská Bystrica for a year

  • "Once we were there, it was possible to bring a sewing machine there. So she had her sewing machine there. It stayed there. In fact, when her mother returned from Terezín, she had nothing but what she was wearing. But nothing at all. She had confirmation of what they were giving in Terezín, and that was it. No IDs, no clothes. So by getting the apartment after those, it was a fully furnished apartment. Because I didn't notice it at the time, I just know that there was no problem, that there was cutlery and that there were plates and that there were duvets. These are so obvious things. But it was all there. " 0:43:00 - 0:44:06 Lydia's mother had her sewing machine in Nováky, she returned from Terezín without anything

  • "As we left Nitra (Lydia and her mom), we went to Nováky. She was in Nováky for two years, exactly two years and two months. And when they dissolved Nováky, she knew I was fine with my uncle. But how were the parents? So she went straight to Topoľčiany and they immediately detained them and deported them to Sereď, they were there for about 8 - 10 days and ... to Auschwitz and the grandparents went straight to the gas ... Mother was still young at that time and was not emaciated from those Nováky. It was a camp, it was disgusting, but people still lived there. So she was ... And there she got back to the sewing, which saved her, that she didn't go anywhere to lift those stones. " 0:41:28 - 0:42:35 Lydia remembers how she cames to Novák with her mother, later she went to her parents and later she went to Auschwitz with them

  • Full recordings
  • 1


    duration: 01:15:54
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
  • 2

    Brno, 18.07.2022

    duration: 01:38:34
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - JMK REG ED
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They were all baptized and thought that if they were baptized, there would be no more Jews

Witness Lýdia Ferová as a young girl
Witness Lýdia Ferová as a young girl
photo: Witnesses archive

Lýdia Ferová, nee Farkašová, was born on July 8, 1938 in Nitra. Father Jakub Farkaš came from an Orthodox Jewish family from eastern Slovakia and worked in a wholesale store. Mother Lívia, nee Schwarzová, came from a Jewish family from Topoľčiany and worked as a women’s tailor. In February 1942, Lydia’s father was dragged to a concentration camp and heard no more about him. Four months later, Lydia and her mother also had to leave Nitra, and they were dragged to the labor camp for Jews in Nováky. Mother worked in a tailor’s workshop in the camp, and Lýdia went to kindergarten. A year later, Uncle Teodor came for Lydia, took her to Banská Bystrica and never returned her to the camp. After the outbreak of the SNP, the labor camp in Nováky was dissolved and Lydia’s mother went to Topoľčany to her parents. There they were detained there in September 1944, deported to camp in Sereď and from there to Auschwitz, where their grandparents perished. Lydia’s mother worked again in a tailor’s workshop, later she was deported to Ravensbruck and Terezín, where she met her sister Alžbeta after the war. During the SNP, Lydia’s uncle hid her in the monastery, where she also attended the first class. After the war, Lydia’s mother and sister returned to Nitra, her uncle brought Lydia to her mother and found an old family album on the ground in their old apartment. After the war, Lydia’s mother married Antonín Fabián (born as Fleischer) and they moved to Leopoldov, where he worked in prison as a caretaker. Hes uncle also changed his name to Štastný after the war. Lydia’s sister Vlasta was born, later she finished her middle class and went to study at Banská Štiavnica at the Mining Industrial School. After school, she was accepted to the university in Košice, but she moved to Ostrava, where she met her husband Ján Fer. They moved to Příbram, where he worked as an engineer in uranium mines. Later they moved to Tišnov, Lýdia was employed in the radio television service. After the husband’s retirement, they moved to Banská Bystrica closer to their family and after 17 years to Tišnov, where they still live. Lydia began visiting the Jewish religious community in Brno and is returning to Judaism.